The United Kingdom Is Releasing Nearly 60 Years of UFO Reports Online

ursatii, iStock via Getty Images
ursatii, iStock via Getty Images

No one country has a monopoly on UFO reports. Sometime between the Roswell incident of 1947 and Canada's Falcon Lake sighting in 1967, the United Kingdom's government started collecting official "X-files" of its own. Now, Live Science reports, the country's Ministry of Defence will share those formerly classified documents with the public for the first time.

UFO-mania had invaded the UK by the early 1950s. The British media began covering supposed extraterrestrial phenomenon with a more serious tone, and books with titles like The Riddle of the Flying Saucers and The Flying Saucers are Real were excerpted in major newspapers. Even Winston Churchill was intrigued, writing to his air minister in 1952, "What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth?"

The Ministry of Defence formed the "Flying Saucer Working Party" to process the flood of new reports coming in around this time. Though the original group concluded that none of the sightings were credible, various departments of the Ministry continued investigating reports of strange objects seen in the sky through 2009, when a policy change ended the program officially.

All the files from that near-60-year period will be released on their own gov.uk webpage some time in 2020. The announcement was made after a British news agency made a request for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Select files from this period had previously been made available through the U.K. National Archives website. Now, instead of choosing certain items to share, the UK government has decided to publish all the documents at once.

Reports that have already been made public include sightings of "a diamond-shaped red light," "15 fireballs in the sky," and "three blazing gold orbs." [PDF]

The Ministry of Defence stated it "has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra terrestrial life," but the public will be able to decide for themselves when more documents are shared later this year.

[h/t Live Science]

Turn Your Couch or Bed Into an Office With This Comfortable Lap Desk

LapGear
LapGear

If you're not working in an office right now, you'll understand the freedom of taking a Zoom meeting from your back porch, jotting down notes from your bed, and filling out spreadsheets from your sofa. But working from home isn't always as comfortable as everyone thinks it is, especially if you're trying to get through the day while balancing a notebook, computer, and stationery on your lap. To give you the space you need while maintaining your well-earned place on the couch, LapGear has the perfect solution to your problems with their lap desk, which you can find on Amazon for $35.

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With more than 6000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, the lap desk can fit laptops and tablets up to 15.6 inches across and includes an integrated 5-inch-by-9-inch mouse pad and cell phone slot for better organization. There's even a ledge built into the desk to help keep your device from sliding when you're at an angle.

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Profane Polly: Expletive-Spewing Parrots Have Been Removed From an England Zoo

"F*ck off!"
"F*ck off!"
AndreaLynnStocker/iStock via Getty Images

In any business, it’s important to make customers feel welcome. Having employees or representatives immediately begin launching expletives and insults, for example, would offend patrons and lead to mixed or negative online reviews.

That’s likely one reason Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, a zoo in eastern England, opted to remove five parrots from the main park after the birds greeted visitors by telling them to “f*ck off.”

According to CNN, the avian agitators were recently donated to the park by five different owners and immediately made their temperaments known. The African grey parrots labeled one employee “fat” and launched other insults whenever staff or guests would walk by their enclosure.

While some guests enjoyed the profane banter, their laughter only encouraged the parrots to continue swearing. Park officials worried that visitors would be bothered by the four-letter-filled ranting and decided to remove the birds from public display.

The birds haven’t been kicked out of the park entirely. Employees are hoping a cooling-down period might help the parrots adjust. But being with other birds could also provide them with an opportunity to become a bad influence.

Steve Nichols, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, told the BBC that he's "hoping" the birds will learn more appropriate words, "but if they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don't know what we'll do."

[h/t CNN]